New Delhi, Mar 1: After the unearthing of India’s biggest banking fraud, the Centre is mulling to introduce a law enabling authorities to confiscate properties of defaulters fleeing the country. Union Cabinet is likely to hold the discussion on the provisions in the law on Thursday. A report in an English daily claimed that the new law will empower investigating agencies to confiscate movable and immovable assets of defaulters with debt exceeding Rs 100 crore. [Also read: Wilful Defaulters Owe Banks Rs 1.1 Lakh Crore] Also Read - CBI’s Special Investigation Team Probing Vijay Mallya, Takes Over Sushant Singh Rajput Case
The cabinet will also discuss the transfer of disciplinary functions of Institute of Chartered Accountants of India to National Financial Reporting Authority. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had held auditors responsible for not reporting the multi-billion dollar scam to PNB. [Also read: Can’t Depose, Says Nirav Modi; ED Seizes Assets Worth Rs 100 Crore] Also Read - India Requests UK Not to Consider Any Asylum Requests by Vijay Mallya, Calls For Early Extradition
“Cases of willful default and bank frauds are much more than a business failure. If you periodically have incidents like these, the entire effort around ease of doing business goes into the background and these scars on the economy take the front seat. If a fraud is taking place in multiple branches of the banking system and no one raised the red flag, it is a matter of concern for the country. Similarly, the indifference of the top management and multiple layers of auditing system which chose to look the other way has created a worrisome situation,” the Finance Minister said at the Business Summit organised by Economic Times. Also Read - ED Brings Back Nirav Modi, Mehul Choksi’s Jewellery Worth Rs 1,350 Crore From Hong Kong to India
While celebrity diamantaire Nirav Modi is accused of siphoning Rs 12,600 crore in Punjab National Bank scam, beleaguered business tycoon Vijay Mallya left the country without paying Rs 9,000 crore to a consortium of 17 banks. The banks have already been directed to check loan details of Rs 50 crore and above to detect possible frauds.
Earlier, Finance Ministry had tightened the norms for borrowers seeking loans above Rs 250 crore to prevent big scale loan frauds. The ministry, in a letter, directed overseas branches of four state-owned banks — SBI, Axis Bank, Allahabad Bank and Bank of India — in Hong Kong for the reconciliation of statements to check if the money released for specific transactions was used for the same purpose.
The banks were also asked to appoint special agency to monitor the status of loans above Rs 250 Crore. Similarly, the number of banks in a consortium giving loans cannot exceed above seven. While Vijay Mallya, facing extradition case in London, was given loans worth Rs 9,000 crore by a consortium of 17 banks, Rotomac owner Vijay Kothari took loans to the tune of Rs 3,695 crore from seven banks.